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Somaliland: Divided electoral commission sets controversial elections schedule

Hargeisa July 17, 2023 (SD) – The Electoral Commission of Somaliland has recently released the long-delayed election schedule for the country’s Presidential and political association elections, which were previously postponed due to President Muse Bihi Abdi’s refusal to hold the elections.

The Electoral Commission has announced that the political association elections will be held on December 28th of this year, 2023, as required by the Political Parties Law.

Furthermore, the commission has declared that the presidential and vice-presidential elections will take place on November 13th, 2024, indicating that the illegal term extension of the House of Elders will align with President Muse Bihi Abdi’s term.

The commission has also requested the international election observers to actively engage in monitoring the fairness of the electoral process and to avoid any disruption to the announced schedule.

Both members of the Electoral Commission appointed by the opposition have expressed disagreement with the newly announced election schedule that the chairman of the commission has announced.

In a presser later tonight, they argued that the announced elections scheduled were made in their absence and are prepared by an external entity, meaning the presidency.

The released election schedule by the Electoral Commission of Somaliland is expected to add fuel to the dispute, and will have significant political implications within Somaliland, particularly in relation to the previous disputes between the Presidency and the political parties.

The opposition has long been advocating for presidential elections, rather than political association elections, as they believe it was manipulated by President Muse Bihi’s administration, which ultimately led to the current political stalemate.

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